Acoustic Emission Monitor for Drive System Coupling Crack Detection

Period of Performance: 06/25/2003 - 12/25/2003

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Acoustics Corp.
195 Clarksville Road
Princeton Jct., NJ 08550
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The objective of this Phase I proposal is to present Physical Acoustics Corporation's (PAC) ability to design and develop a reliable, "near" real time monitoring methodology for early detection of cracks in diaphragm-type couplings used in aircraft and engine drive systems. The "near" real time Acoustic Emission (AE) crack detection system is intended to demonstrate the feasibility of using an on-line AE crack detection system to provide suitable advance warning to indicate the presence of cracks and to preclude catastrophic failure. The proposed methodology will tailor PAC's state-of-the-art AE sensing, data acquisition, and Pattern Recognition technique for the development of an on-line AE monitor for drive system coupling crack detection. The development work for Phase I will consist of developing and demonstrating an autonomous adaptive procedure to recognize and classify crack-like AE signals which will simulate cracking in a coupling in the presence of mechanical noise. During the Phase I Option period, the software for Pattern Recognition will be modified to include the calculation for the displacement and velocity metrics that will allow the evaluation of crack growth in the drive system coupling. It is anticipated that the results of this program will lead to the development of a real time AE-based Neural Network Classifier for early detection of cracks in diaphragm-type couplings used in aircraft and engine drive systems. Since the real time crack detection system will provide suitable advance warning to preclude catastrophic failure, it will have applications for many industries beyond the military and could be applied to a broad range of military and commercial aircraft applications.